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I have a 2 year old GSD named Max. I rescued him from my receptionist who kept him locked in a shed for 14 hours a day when he was just 4 months old. Long story short Max is very fearful and reactive because of this. I brought him home and immediately began training. We did the petsmart training and that did not work. I hired a K9 trainer and we did the board and train for a month. I think the board and train made it worse. Max has nip at over 8 people unprovoked. Now when ever he hears the door he bites the first thing he sees whether is a pillow or me(2 times). I hired a behaviorist and we worked on control and getting him to stay in place and he is great on a leash but off the leash he is horrible. He ran out the house and bit my neighbor, she called animal control. It was a mess. I have a 9 month old daughter and I am scared to death that if she is near him when the bell rings he will bite her.( yes i tell everyone i know to call before but that is not always the case) I tried to find home but when the person interested in him came over, he nip him as well.. any advise is a appreciated.
 

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Unfortunately, it sounds like this dog might have too much psychological damage. I'm not expert, but it sounds like you have taken every option available. At some point, you have to think about your daughter.
 

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With a known bite history, surrendering him is a death sentence. Is he altered? Perhaps the new baby has him on high alert? How much exercise is he getting daily? If you have a fenced area a flirt stick (google it) can give this guy twice as much exercise he needs in half the time. I use this method for my boy, I am unable to walk any distance that counts, jogging is out of the question, and frankly, my throwing arm gets tired really quick with the tennis ball nonsense. I also use L-theanine, an amino acid to curb anxiety. A visit to the vet may be in order, if you have not had him evaluated by one yet. I used behaviorists and trainers (never leave a dog with a trainer) and none helped. A Baskerville muzzle is a godsend. They can eat and drink with it on, although I would not allow them to wear it non stop, day in day out.
 

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I would certainly ask the vet about medications to decrease anxiety/reactivity, but sometimes, humanely euthanizing is best for the dog and the people around it. And that's a heartbreaking choice with a physically healthy animal. Some dogs are just not wired properly, though, and it sounds like you've tried a lot of interventions. Nipping is one thing, and I'm not saying anything you don't already know here...but the progression to biting is hugely problematic. The trouble with a dog willing to bite people is the eternal "what if" of it happening again even with training and/or responsible rehoming. Keeping this dog depends on your ability to control outcomes and your comfort level. Personally, after that much intervention and with a nine month old child (or any child) in the home, I would make the tough choice and euthanize rather than rehoming because I don't ultimately know how a new owner would be with controlling the dog.
 

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I have a gorgeous brat who was abused - no human contact, starved etc - as a young pup. He is 8 now. The only successful bites he made was to me - redirected aggression. It took years to get him to the point he as at now - no longer redirects, definite dog aggression, introduced to dog smart people, otherwise put away. He isn't allowed around grandson period. If there had been kids in the house during this time, he would have been pts.

With Max's bite history, he is not a candidate for rehoming to anything but an experienced individual or a rescue. Both will be difficult to find. Be wary of unknown individuals - this type dog is easily abused. In inexperienced hands he is a walking time bomb; he has proven he is willing to bite.
 

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Either keep him or euthanize. If his behavior is exactly as you describe it, he doesn’t sound like a dog you can rehome or manage yourself. He will take constant management and it doesn’t sound like you are able to do that. A dog that bites should never get loose like yours did.
 

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Some standard questions:

Did your receptionist get the pup from a good breeder, if so, contact them as they may know of a good experienced trainer plus may have first rights per contract to get the dog back

Dark dreary shed? No company during the day to let him out for potty breaks etc?

Did you do a 2 week shut down first so he could get acclimated to his new surroundings, new family before bringing him to training classes and a board and train?

Answering won't change what he is doing, but it will offer insight for those who are trying to help.

Also if the pup came from a reputable breeder, they may have first rights to him per contract. So check that avenue before euthanasia or rehoming.

I left my opinions about both out as I'm really frustrated reading of this pups plight. No disrespect to the op.
 

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I love dogs dearly. Love dogs more than some people, but not more than I love my kids. Doesn't seem the poor dog got any breaks in life. That is sad. If you were a single person, no kids, living in the middle of nowhere and you wanted to try working with this dog, I say, "Go ahead." You are not that. You have a very young child who is helpless to defend herself. To me, it's a no brainer. Sometimes, putting the dog to sleep is the kindest thing you can do.
 

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I have a 2 year old GSD named Max. I rescued him from my receptionist who kept him locked in a shed for 14 hours a day when he was just 4 months old. Long story short Max is very fearful and reactive because of this. I brought him home and immediately began training. We did the petsmart training and that did not work. I hired a K9 trainer and we did the board and train for a month. I think the board and train made it worse. Max has nip at over 8 people unprovoked. Now when ever he hears the door he bites the first thing he sees whether is a pillow or me(2 times). I hired a behaviorist and we worked on control and getting him to stay in place and he is great on a leash but off the leash he is horrible. He ran out the house and bit my neighbor, she called animal control. It was a mess. I have a 9 month old daughter and I am scared to death that if she is near him when the bell rings he will bite her.( yes i tell everyone i know to call before but that is not always the case) I tried to find home but when the person interested in him came over, he nip him as well.. any advise is a appreciated.
I would not be too worried about a puppy kept in a shed for 14 hours a day. He probably slept most of that time. I would be more interested in what happened the 10 hours that he was not in the shed as that would provide more clues as to the any reasons for inappropriate behaviors such as fear and reactivity above and beyond genetics. A lot of puppies that age spend 14 hours or more in crates or in the basement / garages between modern work and sleep schedules.

Was the K9 trainer you hired experienced with GSDs? Why do you feel he came out of the board and train worse than when he went in? How old was he at the time?

He has nipped at people unprovoked over 8 times, what were the people doing when this happened? Sometimes a dog perceives a threat where we might not. In their eyes, it might be provoked.

Since he is great on leash, what have you done to generalize those behaviors to progress to off leash? Why did the behaviorist train him to place when the doorbell rings rather than to kennel since he has a bite history?

Is it possible for you to build a six sided containment in your yard for him? Your daughter's safety is the number one priority here and you should not have to compromise that but an outdoor kennel is an option. It is a shame to euthanize a dog for some fear or reactivity which are common occurrences in this breed.

Another option is to try to find some business which might be in the market for such a dog.
 

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My 2 cents: this is too much of an issue to solve on line. We ll may have some ideas that may work or not but he has bitten too many people already and now it has turned into a habit because it works well for him. Follow your gut and protect your child and anyone else. Your liability is huge.
 

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I agree with Mame. The poor dog is damaged and a ticking time bomb. Best let him go in peace. You did your best.
 

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My 2 cents: this is too much of an issue to solve on line. We ll may have some ideas that may work or not but he has bitten too many people already and now it has turned into a habit because it works well for him. Follow your gut and protect your child and anyone else. Your liability is huge.
This. Have you asked the trainers and vets that "know him" if THEY think you should rehome or humanely free him from his demons?

I would want to hear more about how he came home from the board and train worse? A good trainer would have you crating him whenever you have company and making serious management efforts to keep him away from your baby, and quite frankly anyone who is not you.With an AC reported bite history, rehoming is likely not an option. I had a situation where my dog was unraveling, and according to trainers and vets the best option was to either put him down or see by if some grace from above I could find a legit handler/trainer that would take responsibility for him. I even had him evaluated by Throw Away Dogs. They are on FB and specialize in taking protection breed dogs that are just way too much for the pet folks they landed with, and they try to rehabilitate and place them with police departments that cant afford K9s. However, with a wonky bite history (as in inappropriate biting..as in the family and known friends) they said he was not fit. At the end of the day, and this is usually what happens, the ONLY type of people fit to manage him were not interested because they know what can and can't be fixed.

Sorry I can't reread your original post without losing everything I just typed. Is he going after strangers and people he does not know well, or family/known friends? Has he gone after your son? Because that makes a difference to people who may be willing to help.
 

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Ok, I just read he bit you because the bell rang. Yeah...sorry, not fair to give a firm opinion online, but that is not a great sign. My dog was going after people for plugging things in. It was stuff like that which kept any K9 handlers from having any interest in working with him. Understandably.
 

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MAWL has good ideas I didn’t think of. There are ways to manage the dog. It doesn’t sound like the trainers taught you that. If you want to keep him you must learn what the dog needs and work with that. It means he can’t ever get loose again, as I said, but could also go to a different home if you can present it well. Your explanation made it sound like an impossible situation, but it may not be as bad as it seems. You aren’t aware but we just had a similar thread a few weeks ago where some said to euthanize and some did not. That one might help you, too.

This one had a positive outcome

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/aggression-good-bad-ugly/741113-hi-guys-im-asking-some-really-good-input-not-good-day.html
 

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It would be unethical to give a firm opinion if "should be put down", with conviction, based on a post.

Define nip? Nip can be bratty nipping, or it could be nipping a child's face and breaking skin as an undeserved by the child warning shot. Or maybe they deserved it because they were poking/pulling etc . You can't tell the lexicon knowledge of a new poster asking for help. I have in person seen the word "nipped" used as a blow off to dangerous behavior. Oh it's just a nip. Not always. Conversely who has not come across someone who thought landsharking and growling was a puppy really biting for real?

The only thing I personally can say with a comfort level of knowledge is that biting his owner when the bell rings does not sound great, but is it exciting nipping or is he, like, going after you?
 

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Dog puts teeth on multiple people not in play. Baby in house. To me that a done deal. Do you know how quickly a GSD can kill a baby?
 

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My 2 cents...The dog should be muzzled anytime he's out of his crate or kennel. Please don't wait for an "accident" to happen first! I personally would not allow this dog to be anywhere near a 9 month old baby EVER!

I'm curious as to what you were told when your dog returned from the board and train worse than he was before it? What training methods did they use, tools? Most offer follow-up sessions for a period of time for no or little additional cost. Have you spoken with them?

As others mentioned, IMHO the best thing for this dog is an extended shut down period during which no one is pressuring him to do or be anything, just let him acclimate to you and his new surroundings. It sounds to me like things have moved much too quickly for this boy, and his reactivity is a not unexpected consequence of his feeling stressed. Rehabilitating a dog like this can take years, if that's not something you can or are willing to commit to, as much as I hate to say it euthanization may be the safest option for all concerned. And I can't tell you how much I hate saying that...this poor dog did not get a fair shot at a good life...
 

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What happened after the bite-neighbor incident? How bad was the bite?

This dog needs to be managed. I could offer more suggestions but it's really hard to tell what is going on with this dog from the description.

Nothing is screaming out "mentally unstable" or that you should kill the dog. But something certainly needs to change so nobody gets hurt.
 

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In hindsight, I suppose it is also fair to ask about your vet, since there was no mention in your original post. I assumed you would have brought the dog in for a comprehensive physical to make sure there are no underlying issues causing this reactivity...but you know what they say about people who assume things.
 

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I have a 2 year old GSD named Max. I rescued him from my receptionist who kept him locked in a shed for 14 hours a day when he was just 4 months old. Long story short Max is very fearful and reactive because of this. I brought him home and immediately began training. We did the petsmart training and that did not work. I hired a K9 trainer and we did the board and train for a month. I think the board and train made it worse. Max has nip at over 8 people unprovoked. Now when ever he hears the door he bites the first thing he sees whether is a pillow or me(2 times). I hired a behaviorist and we worked on control and getting him to stay in place and he is great on a leash but off the leash he is horrible. He ran out the house and bit my neighbor, she called animal control. It was a mess. I have a 9 month old daughter and I am scared to death that if she is near him when the bell rings he will bite her.( yes i tell everyone i know to call before but that is not always the case) I tried to find home but when the person interested in him came over, he nip him as well.. any advise is a appreciated.
Did you rescue him when he was 4 months old?
How long have you had the dog?
How many different trainers have you tried?

This dog wouldn't be anywhere near my child without a muzzle on.
I would keep him in a large kennel during the day and let him out for walks and play and training several times a day, always with a muzzle on. I wouldn't give him any freedom... always a leash on.
I would try getting a different trainer, another trainer, anxiety tablets... anything. And when I can tell myself that I have tried absolutely everything and he is still a mess then I would see about putting him to sleep. You can not rehome this dog unless you can find someone who is very knowledgeable.
 
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